There are many smiling faces that greet you when you enter Rittenhouse Senior Living of Valparaiso. Why are they so happy? Well, they are often happy to see guests, and Rittenhouse is a great place to live and many of the residents are happy to be there.
One lady who is very happy (I think she’ll be happy no matter where she is) is Helen Miller. She’s a sweet and welcoming woman who brightens the day of everyone she meets. She hails from Kouts, IN and after she graduated high school she took on the role of mom. She worked at various places throughout her life and says now if she had her druthers she would have become a florist.
“I worked at a lot of different places,” Miller said. “But I worked for a florist in Arizona for a time and I loved it. I had so much fun. I love flowers and plants and I’m even in charge of the court yard here at Rittenhouse.”
Her love of flowers is what got her nominated for the Porter County Fair Honored Senior Award.
Miller’s husband Arnie lived with her at Rittenhouse. He had an aneurism in his abdomen and doctors told him that it was a good idea to go to a place where assistance would be available if needed. So they moved into Rittenhouse. He passed away on Thanksgiving Day in 2014, and Miller is grateful that they were in a safe place that cared for them both.
“We looked around at different places and we chose Rittenhouse,” Miller said. “And I’m so happy we came here. I am so happy because everybody is friendly, everybody is caring – we’re actually another family.”
She added, “He’s a good man, a good husband. He’s in a better place so I’m okay.”
Taking a tour of the court yard brings color to your eyes and Earthy scents to your nose. Beautiful lilies, bright puffs of hydrangea, lovely morning glories and hyacinths, and other potted flora and fauna adorn the space. Miller looked on proudly pointing out each flower by name.
“It’s a lovely place to walk through and I like being able to take care of it and share it with everyone,” Miller said.
Miller said that all of the good things in her life start with the letter “F”. Faith, family, friends, and flowers.
“My faith, which is the most important thing to me. My family, I have four children, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren,” Miller said with a smile. “And the grandkids love to come here because there is always something to do at grandma’s house. They’re a joy.”
In her free time, Miller loves to read and see her family. But she admits that she doesn’t have much free time.
“Have you seen a list of all of the activities that we have here? There is so much to do every day,” she said. “I’m always on the go.”